By Geoff De Weaver, Chief Executive Officer, Geoff De Weaver Inc.
Core Values require teamwork.
From my global business and marketing perspective, from working on ‘startups’ or working for leading Fortune 500 brands, in markets and countries like: New York, San Francisco, Taipei, Sydney, London, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong – I would like to highlight critical ‘core values’. They are common across organizations in different industries and countries. Core values also enhance your team and your company to help create greater impact, build a superior customer experience and get better financial returns.
As an example, years ago, my former client, Telecom New Zealand (TCNZ) focused their brand around four key values. Everything that their brand touched had to clearly demonstrate and build the following four ‘RICH’ values:
• Reassuring (R)
• Innovative (I)
• Competitive (C)
• Helpful (H)
In fact, before we developed any product, service or produced a campaign or project, we would ask…does it pass the RICH test? Better yet, everyone who was on the Board, management team, staff, supplier or partner – clearly knew these core values too! Telecom New Zealand was hugely successful and totally integrated. Everyone had ‘espirit de corp’ and were always ready to do more than required. That’s the importance of core values. Why wait to be memorable?
Another great example of values is used by Nike, their brand mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
Therefore, their values are:
And, Nike’s brand Mantra is: Authentic Athletic Performance.
Whether you are: Fit Bit, Tesla, Red Bull, Nike, Facebook, Uber, Amazon, WhatsApp, Samsung or Twitter – all brands and companies are unique and all Boards, Management and CEO’s must have total agreement on the core values for the company from DAY ONE.
Additionally, as recent research has revealed, Boards have reduced their number of meetings since 2009. Boards today now meet an average of 8.1 times a year, compared with an average of 9.0 meetings five years ago (and more before that). So, with less time together, getting shared values, succession planning, compensation, shareholder engagement and all other processes in place – shared corporate values become even more critical. This means sharing and educating the entire ecosystem of partners, staff, suppliers, clients, etc.
I think Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonalds got it right when he said: ‘If you work just for money, you’ll NEVER make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you ALWAYS PUT THE CUSTOMER FIRST, success will be yours’.
Today’s best boards all share this mantra.
In today’s Digital Age, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon stated his core values beautifully when he stated ‘We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job everyday to manage every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better’
Here are the Ten Core Values I commend to you:
1. Integrity – Acting with honesty and integrity without compromising the truth. As C.S Lewis put it so well, ‘Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching’.
2. Innovation – Pursuing new creative ideas that have the potential to change the world. Under promising and always over delivering. Companies that DO NOT align core values, do not develop a winning culture, do not attract more exceptional women to their boards and management AND don’t acceleration or transform as fast as their peers or competition.
3. Accountability – Acknowledging and assuming responsibility for actions, products, decisions, and policies. It can be applied to both individual accountability on the part of employees and accountability of the company as a whole. Cash is King and constantly remind your team that having money in your bank account is critical for long-term success. It’s vital that everyone is on page, and gets it’s critical to live today to fight for another day. Being Cash Flow positive must be a daily MANTRA.
4. Balance – Taking a proactive stand to create and maintain a healthy work-life balance for workers. Importantly, set the stage from day one. Especially with today’s Millennials and Gen Y. Remember, with these groups teamwork is high on the agenda, especially, Generation Y. Regular team meetings and collaboration with colleagues is preferred and they want to be involved and included. They expect (demand) total openness and transparency from management, Boards and colleagues.
5. Commitment – Committing to great customer experience, products, service and group initiatives that impact lives within and outside the organization. Creating a customer-centric and customer service mentality is mandatory.
6. Corporate Social Responsibility + Community – Contributing to society and demonstrating corporate social responsibility (CSR). For example, Oracle is one of the biggest CSR spenders. It grants its software to secondary schools, colleges and universities in about 100 countries. Importantly, “global citizenship and sustainability” can help investors appreciate its value. Always be honest and have an ethical way of doing business. For example, Oracle does some amazing working in CSR and is one of the biggest CSR spenders today, it grants its software to secondary schools, colleges and universities in about 100 countries. Importantly, “global citizenship and sustainability” can help investors appreciate its value.
7. Diversity – respecting diversity with the best of composition of staff by establishing an employee equity program. E.g. Like Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com – who recently undertook the delivery of female equality and parallel wages/salaries with their male counterparts. Bravo!
8. Empowerment – Encouraging employees to take initiative and give their best. Adopting an error-embracing environment to empower employees to lead and make decisions. Importantly, the millennial generation prefers flexible working schedules and a more rounded work/life balance. In fact, many Generation Y’s have grown up with overworked parents and this has driven the new perception to work.
9. Ownership – Taking care of the company and customers as if they were one’s own family.
10. Safety – ensuring the health and safety of employees and going beyond the legal requirements to provide an accident-free workplace.
Bottom-line, no company or Board is perfect today but, if they start with a list of core values and passion for outstanding customer experience, learn from their clients and staff – they’ll gain a competitive advantage to win the battle of competing in a Digital Age.
May success be with you this year. Stay Passionate and win the day!
More About Geoff De Weaver:
Hailing originally from New York; Geoff De Weaver is the globally experienced entrepreneur and marketer, technology disruptor, trend hunter, transformation expert, author, keynote speaker and CEO of geoffdeweaver.com
Feel free to get in touch with Geoff for further information:
- Personal Website: https://geoffdeweaver.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoffdeweaver
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/geoff_deweaver
- Amazon Authors: https://www.amazon.com/Geoff-De-Weaver/e/B007DAEKFG
‘When Action Meets Passion and Compassion, Lives Change’ ~ Geoff De Weaver